From Gregory Pember ("Jared" in SpeakEasy Stage Company's production ofBody Awareness
It’s hard to imagine that in two weeks I will no longer be a part of this amazing show or working so intimately with this creative and supportive cast. This show holds a very special place in my heart and always will because it is about the love of a family and every night we get to reshape and tell this family’s story. It also holds a special place because I get to be back in Boston, a city that throughout my four years at the Conservatory I grew to call my “home away from home.” I feel very comfortable in this city and it’s been so awesome to have the opportunity to reconnect with those at school who have supported me so much in the past.
The show has definitely changed some shape throughout these past three weeks of performances and it’s always interesting and fun to compare audiences’ reactions to the show from night to night. Some nights the show seems to almost ride this tidal wave of laughter whilst other nights the audience is much more subdued and sensitive to the issues that the four of us are dealing with onstage. This is one of the things I like most about the play: Annie Baker does not tell the audience how to feel and she allows them many opportunities to form their own opinions about the characters and the situations at hand. This has also taught me not to rely on any consistent audience reactions when performing the show, which really keeps me on my toes as an actor. It has also been cool to share our backstage with the cast of Circle Mirror Transformation and to get to know some of their cast and hear about their process and how audiences are reacting to their show. It is a very exciting festival to be a part of and I look forward to actually being able to see the other two shows this week! I am also looking forward to two talkbacks that are happening after the show this Sunday as well as after next Saturday’s matinee. We’ve already had one actor-audience talkback and it was awesome! It was such a great chance to connect with the audience after the show and hear about what they thought as well as answer any questions that they had for us. Honestly, I would love to do a talkback after every performance! I think it is such a gift to hear an audience’s perspective firsthand and immediately following the show when everything is still fresh in their minds. I would love for people to come participate in the talkbacks after these shows and share your experience of the play with the cast! Thank you to everyone who has come to support SpeakEasy and this show and it has been an honor performing in Boston again. I can’t wait for these next two weeks of shows! See you at the theater!